Q&A: Olive Tree Elections
I read through Chapter 1 in The Fulness of Christ and your view of the "remnant according to grace". I can see that it makes sense if I take Paul out of them! I know the Remant of Israel is saved by grace too :) The reason I thought Paul was including himself is because of verse 1 in Romans 11.
I address this in the section "Sign Language for the Blind" in chapter 1 of The Fulness of Christ (pgs. 24-25). This is part of a larger argument concerning whether God must resume his dealings with the nation. It is clear from the verses that Paul is not including himself in the election of grace that obtained it, see the section "Firstfruit" in chapter 1 (pgs. 26-27). He is part of the blinded crowd who, like Paul, may still be saved. This is the some that are being saved today (Rom 11:14).
He is a Jew who believes, but so what, the election is obviously not being fulfilled today. This is what Paul has been addressing all throughout Rom 9-10 concerning what has and has not occurred to Israel in light of their unbelief. Jews are saved today, but this doesn't answer the questions raised by Rom 9-11 concerning their program "fall". Paul points to himself to demonstrate one thing about what God's current dealings don't mean and the sense in which they have not been cast away. Unbelief in the nation is nothing new, and was never going to stand in the way of God fulfilling his promises with the nation, which was always through the remnant. Paul pointing to himself simply demonstrates that Jews can be, and are being, saved today. This has implications for the unbelief he has been discussing up to this point. However, even though Jews believe today, they have still "fallen". If Jews believe today, then the reason for their current "fallen" status lies elsewhere. But this doesn't answer whether God has to do anything with the nation in the future, which is the sense in which they have been cast away (Rom 11:15). Jews being saved today means nothing in this regard. Jews are saved today in accordance with the fall, not prophetic election. The proof of that to come election being fulfilled was the Israel of God that was still in existence at that time which he repeatedly points to in his Acts epistles. Unlike Paul and Jews who believe today, they had a distinct election in keeping with Israel's remnant which they had obtained.
All of this then is summed up by the tree. There are still natural branches in the tree, like Paul, but it is not in accordance with Israel's election. Israel's election, however, still stands, in accordance with the goodness of God. They may, and will, be graffed back in per their dispensational election when God decides to break off his current dealings with the Gentiles. The tree concerns dispensational dealings, not individual salvation.
Again, my understanding of the election of grace and exposition of Romans 11:1-10 is very different from what you will generally hear from anyone else so take it for what it's worth.
Seated in heavenly places with Him,